According to no less a source than Forbes magazine, a U.S. default is no longer a question of if. It’s when. In a July 23 article, Forbes’ Addison Wiggin warned readers not to get caught holding U.S. dollars when the United States government defaults — again.
According to President Barack Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt, long regarded as a free-spending President, was actually “fiscally conservative.” What’s more, said Obama, Roosevelt’s “austerity” hampered the economic recovery being wrought by the New Deal, leading to a downturn in 1937 — a warning to leaders who think now is the time to begin slashing federal spending.
When Standard and Poor’s moved up their timeframe for a downgrade on U.S. sovereign debt from three to five years to just 90 days, Dave Beers, Director of the Sovereign Debt Division explained that the rating of U.S. debt is not on the verge of falling because the debt ceiling debate in Congress hasn't been resolved:
President Obama’s open letter to the American people published yesterday in USA Today challenges them “to do something big and meaningful" and stand behind his efforts to raise the debt ceiling.
This debate [over the debt ceiling] offers the chance to put our economy on stronger footing, and [to] secure a better future for our children. I want to seize that opportunity, and [to] ask Americans of both parties and no party to join me in that effort.
The Constitution and the early organization of the federal executive branch properly limited the scope of government activities to a few areas. Education was left to the states or to individual Americans. The Northwest Ordinances, originally adopted under the Articles of Confederation, did set aside some land for the support of education, but that was minimal and that was all. Energy, which then meant wood, coal, and water power, was entirely in the hands of private citizens and companies. No funds were used to fight a “war on terror” or to spy on other nations or to try to bribe other nations with foreign aid. America participated in no international organizations at all.